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1Tips and Trends For Channel Career Success

Moving AheadEven though hiring is still to remain fairly flat through the end of the year, experts expect that towards the end of the year and into 2011 the market will start swinging upward. As such, now may be the perfect time for IT professionals in the channel to polish up their training, knowledge base and their networking strategies in preparation. The following six career trends and tips are courtesy of IT career analyst and consultant David Foote, owner of Foote Partners, a firm that specializes in assessing the demand for IT skills within the enterprise landscape.

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Job SecurityIT security is one of the hottest skills at the moment, bucking trends in technology pay declines all 2009. Specific knowledge in skills such as forensics and identity and access management are in particular demand.

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Architecture Building MomentumThe pay level for IT architects may be ‘flat-lining’ at the moment, but Foote says that has more to do with cost-cutting hitting bone than true demand leveling. He believes architecture skills of all stripes are a good long-term core competency.

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SAP Sustains DemandIT pros and channel partners who can hone SAP and ERP skills will be in a good spot going forward, particularly if they can specialize in industry or business functions, such as finance and accounting systems, sales distribution systems, logistics systems and the like.

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Web Dev Dives Into Biz UnitsWeb developers and eCommerce specialists are increasingly being embedded directly into business units rather than the IT department, either as employees or contractors. High demand skills include Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft SharePoint, C++, SOAP, Python and Perl.

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SOA So GoodEven though the days of enormous service-oriented architecture projects are long behind us, Foote says there’s been a resurgence in demand for SOA-skilled workers who can help execute smaller projects.

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Cross-Pollenize For Flowery ProspectsFoote says organizations are increasingly looking for technologists with specific line of business knowledge first, geek cred second. For college kids out there, he even recommends minoring in computer science and majoring in something like marketing, finance or mathematics.

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Don’t Ignore the Facebook EffectToo many IT job seekers poo-poo the benefits of social media as an additional networking channel for career advancement. That’s a mistake, says Foote, who reports widespread use of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter among recruiters today.